Find Paralegal Certificate Schools near Clayton GA 30525

How to Select a Paralegal Studies Program near Clayton Georgia

Clayton GA paralegal working with attorneyBest Wishes regarding your decision to enroll in paralegal studies near Clayton GA and begin your journey that will lead to a gratifying profession in legal services. However, it’s essential that you find the best school so that you will get the extensive training that you require to achieve success. As you most likely know, the legal field is among the fastest growing occupations in the United States, and more and more educational choices are being offered, both on campus and online. But with so many options to choose from, where does one start? Many potential students start by looking for paralegal schools within commuting distance of their Clayton residences. Of those options, they try to find the program with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important considerations when picking a college, they are not the only factors you must take into consideration. Things such as accreditation and the reputation of the program must be considered as well. Later on in this post we will cover a list of concerns that you must ask prospective paralegal certificate schools so that you can assess and compare each one prior to making your decision. But first, let’s take a look at what a paralegal does and the educational alternatives that are offered to earn either a paralegal certificate or degree.

What is a Paralegal and What Do They Do?

Clayton GA law libraryParalegals and legal assistants basically both fill the same job roles and functions, just with different titles. On the other hand, legal secretaries are not the same as either of those two positions and belong to a different job category. Both paralegals and legal assistants assist attorneys in Clayton GA with a wide range of job functions, including legal research, maintaining client files, drafting legal documents and communicating with clients. Their particular job functions are based upon the type of legal firm where they are employed. As an example, a legal assistant for a criminal law practice may help with trial logistics or transporting documents to court. In private practices, the work of a paralegal is typically billed hourly as are the attorney’s. And the same as lawyers, they must carry out their duties with a high degree of professionalism and abide by a strict code of professional ethics. As mentioned, their responsibilities can be varied in support of the firms where they work, but some of their everyday activities can involve:

  • Researching and fact checking cases
  • Conducting research on applicable laws and cases
  • Preparing correspondence and legal papers
  • Submitting legal papers with the court or opposing counsel
  • Helping lawyers prepare for trial and keep organized with their cases
  • Organizing and maintaining legal documents, files and additional records

With all of their duties, the job of a Clayton GA paralegal can be complex and rather challenging. However, what they are not legally allowed to do is offer legal advice and counsel or represent a client in a legal action. But paralegals are not limited to administrative or clerical duties more suited to the job of a legal secretary. Paralegals really are the main support systems for lawyers. And because they do so much of the legal ground work and preparation, lawyers are able to handle a much larger number of clients or cases than they could alone.

Paralegal Training and Certification

law books and Clayton GA judge's gavelAs we previously covered, paralegals are actually the same as legal assistants, with paralegals arguably having more professional sounding job titles. As a result, for either position the educational requirements and opportunities will be the same. The quickest way to start your career in Clayton GA as a paralegal is by earning a certificate, which may take just 6 months to complete. A large number of entry level positions do call for an Associate’s Degree, which provide a more extensive education and may be earned at many community colleges in two years. For an even more comprehensive education, four year Bachelor’s Degrees are offered as well. When you have acquired either a certificate or degree, you may want to proceed and obtain a certification. Although it is not a legal requirement in Georgia to practice as a paralegal, certification may not only help increase your job opportunities, but help substantiate you as a professional also. A few of the highly respected certifying agencies in the field are:

  • National Federation of Paralegal Associations
  • American Alliance of Paralegals
  • National Association of Legal Assistants
  • National Association for Legal Professionals

By graduating with a certificate or degree from an accredited school (we will address the benefits of accreditation later) and obtaining a certification, you will have taken two important first steps that will help guarantee your success as a paralegal in Clayton GA.

Paralegal Online Schools

attending paralegal school online in Clayton GAOnline paralegal programs have become more popular and can be a good option for individuals in Clayton GA looking for convenient access to classes as well as accommodating scheduling. Online schools can be particularly attractive to those who keep working while earning a certificate or degree. As an added advantage, online programs can often be less costly than on campus options. Even ancillary expenses for such items as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated. One caution, not all online programs are accredited, which we will cover in greater detail later. But at the very least accreditation helps guarantee that the training you obtain is of the highest quality. So check to make sure that the school and program you are considering are accredited by a reputable agency, for instance the American Bar Association. But if you are dedicated enough to attend classes in a less structured and formal environment, then obtaining your degree or certificate online could be the ideal choice for you.

Questions to Ask Paralegal Colleges

Once you have a better idea regarding what paralegals do and what academic options are available, you can begin the undertaking of assessing Clayton GA area schools. But because there are numerous programs accessible at community and junior colleges, in addition to trade and vocational schools, you must find out what questions to ask so that you can compare each one. This is especially true when you add all of the online paralegal certificate and degree programs also. If you are like most potential students, you will start by searching for schools within driving distance and then comparing their tuition. But as we have already covered, there are other critical aspects to consider as well, including accreditation and the reputation of the schools. So let’s go over some of the questions you need to be asking the programs you are considering so that you can properly vet each one and make your final choice.

Is the Paralegal Training Accredited? The paralegal school and program that you pick should be accredited by a respected accrediting agency such as the American Bar Association. If it is an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance training. Accreditation will not only certify that the education you will obtain will be of the highest standard, but it will establish with potential employers that you are a qualified professional as well. Numerous Clayton GA law firms will only hire entry level paralegals that have graduated from an accredited school. Also, financial aid and student loans are often available only for accredited programs.

What’s the Program’s Reputation? Learn what the reputations and rankings are for the Clayton GA paralegal schools you are looking at. This is of specific importance if you are new to the field with no prior experience, since employers will need to make a decision based on the caliber of your training exclusively. Confirming that the school you select is accredited is a good first step. Checking school rating reports, including those furnished by U.S. News and World Report, can help determine school quality of education and rankings as well. You can also call a few law firms that you may be interested in working for after graduating and ask which schools they suggest. Bear in mind that even if a school is not the most highly rated, its paralegal program could still have an excellent reputation.

Does the School Sponsor Internships? Internship programs provide students a chance to experience working in a law firm or other legal operation while attending school. They can also provide an avenue for students to start developing contacts within the Clayton GA legal field. Find out if the paralegal programs you are evaluating provide internship programs, specifically in areas of the law that you have the most interest in entering upon graduation.

Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the paralegal programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Georgia legal services employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.

Where is the Campus Located? Since laws differ from one state to another, it may be beneficial to enroll in a paralegal school located in the state where you plan to work after graduating. In addition, it will be necessary to cultivate relationships in the local legal community, perhaps through an internship program. This is all the more reason to acquire your education in the community where you desire to work. Also, if you go to classes at a community college, many charge an increased tuition for students that live outside of their districts. So you may want to first consider those schools that are within your Clayton GA local area.

How Much is the Entire Expense? Paralegal programs can differ in price based on the credential earned and the length of training provided. However, tuition will not be the only expense for your training. Remember to include the cost of supplies, books and commuting to classes to your budget as well. Financial aid may be available to help reduce some of the cost, so make sure to check with the school’s financial aid office to find out what is offered in Clayton GA. Naturally if you choose to attend an online school, some of these supplementary expenses, such as for commuting, may be reduced or eliminated.

Do the Classes Match your Schedule? Many paralegal students continue working while getting their training and require flexibility to schedule classes. If you can solely attend weekend or evening classes near Clayton GA, make sure classes are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part time basis, make sure that the program you enroll in offers that option. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed as a result of sickness, work or family emergencies.

Considering Paralegal School in Clayton GA?

Clayton, Georgia

The area that would eventually become Clayton was called the Dividings because it sat at the intersection of three important Cherokee people trails. Explorer and naturalist William Bartram came through the Dividings in May 1775 while exploring what would later be organized as Rabun County. Much later, after Clayton had grown to include the Dividings, two of the old Cherokee trails were improved as the main roads for Clayton and the county: U.S. 23/441 and U.S. 76.

Claytonsville was founded by European-American settlers in 1821 as the seat of Rabun County.[5] In 1823, the town was incorporated and renamed Clayton.[6] It was named after a prominent jurist and congressman, Judge Augustin S. Clayton, who served in both the Georgia House of Representatives and Georgia Senate before being elected as a US Representative from Georgia, serving two terms from 1831–1835.

In 1904, the Tallulah Falls Railway was completed to Clayton from Cornelia, Georgia; it was extended to Franklin, North Carolina by 1907. Clayton has had public water and sanitary sewer service since the 1920s. Initially, the water supply was two springs on nearby Buzzard Roost Mountain, but today Clayton uses Lake Rabun as its water supply.

Clayton is located at 34°52′40″N 83°24′6″W / 34.87778°N 83.40167°W / 34.87778; -83.40167 (34.877788, -83.401691)[9] and is situated at the southern base of 3,640-foot Black Rock Mountain. Immediately to the east of the city is 3,000-foot Screamer Mountain. Other Blue Ridge Mountain peaks between 2,500 and 3,500 feet surround the city.

The location could not be found.

Select the Right Paralegal Degree Program near Clayton GA

Enrolling in the best paralegal training program is an essential first step toward your success in the gratifying field of law. As we have covered in this article, you have the option of attending classes on campus or you can attend them online in the privacy and comfort of your Clayton residence. Paralegal training programs are provided in many formats and lengths. Several kinds of public and private institutions provide paralegal education, including junior and community colleges, four year universities and colleges, as well as vocational and trade schools. Your choice of a paralegal program will have a profound influence on your opportunities for success in your new career. Considering that there is a broad range in the quality of schools, choose wisely. Give yourself the greatest possible chance to succeed in this exciting profession. But irrespective of how you choose to acquire your training and earn your certificate or degree, by asking the questions that we have furnished you will have the ability to assess each school and make your final decision. And with the ideal education you can achieve your career goal to become a successful paralegal in Clayton GA.

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